I think AppleCare is very much worth it. I’ve never had to use any of the AppleCare policies I’ve ever gotten for any of my Macs or MacBooks, but I always suggest people buy it with their new Macs.
I’ve had friends and clients absolutely depend on AppleCare. One had her almost three year old iMac die and it was repaired, free. Another had her daughter’s two-year old MacBook die one day at college, and with AppleCare, she had a new MacBook in two days. For around $150, AppleCare is a good deal if you’re faced with a potential $500 or more repair if the logic board dies or the hard drive crashes in that second or third year of use.
Industry wide – and when I say that I mean computers, laptops, cell phones, etc. – many researchers say there is around a 10% failure rate on average for all devices. Laptops sometimes have higher rates than that.
You get one year of free repair with a new MacBook or iMac, and AppleCare extends that another two years after purchase date, for a total of three years. There are other warranties you can get, like the extra protections many stores want to sell you at checkout time, but I don’t think they’re a good deal.
You can shop for AppleCare at online stores like Amazon.com (and sometimes get it a bit cheaper than Apple), and find out more about AppleCare at Apple’s website: AppleCare Protection Plan. Register your AppleCare policy online (you’ll need your computer serial number) here: AppleCare Products Overview and Registration.
And after you get an AppleCare policy and find you need it, you can locate your nearest Apple authorized dealer and service provider here: Apple – Store Locator.